Raptors become 1st top seed in 49 years to get swept before conference finals

Jason Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Following the best season in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors find themselves on the wrong side of history.

The Raptors finished the regular season with a franchise-best 59 wins to secure the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. However, they ceded that edge in Game 1 of the East semifinals with a one-point overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Raptors proceeded to drop the next three contests, including a 128-93 defeat Monday in Cleveland to complete the series sweep.

Game 1 CLE def. TOR 113-112 OT
Game 2 CLE def. TOR 128-110
Game 3 CLE def. TOR 105-103
Game 4 CLE def. TOR 128-93

Related: Cavs series once again proving Raptors are step below NBA's elite

In bowing out in four games in the second round, Toronto becomes the first No. 1 seed in 49 years to fall victim to the broom before the conference finals. The only other team to suffer such a fate in a seven-game series was the Baltimore Bullets, who fell to the New York Knicks 4-0 in the 1969 Eastern Division semifinals.

Year Matchup result Round
2018 CLE def. TOR Eastern Conference semifinals
2015 CLE def. ATL Eastern Conference finals
2003 NJN def. DET Eastern Conference finals
2002 LAL def. NJN NBA Finals
2001 LAL def. SAS Western Conference finals
1995 HOU def. ORL NBA Finals
1989 DET def. LAL NBA Finals
1983 PHI def. LAL NBA Finals
1977 POR def. LAL Western Conference finals
1971 MIL def. BAL NBA Finals
1970 LAL def. ATL Western Division finals
1969 NYK def. BAL Eastern Division semifinals

(Courtesy: PistonPowered)

Related: Pacers' Young says Raptors letting Cavs 'walk into the next round'

It's worth noting that the last No. 1 seed to be swept in the playoffs was the Atlanta Hawks, who fell at the hands of Cleveland in the 2015 East finals. LeBron James owns the personal record for the most series sweeps in NBA history, now boasting a full dozen. He's won 10 straight playoff matchups against Toronto, dating back to 2016, having also swept the Canadian club last year.

The Raptors were the only team in the Association to finish the regular season in the top five in both offensive and defensive rating, with ESPN Analytics giving them an 88 percent chance of sending James and Co. packing before the series.

The Cavaliers, who claimed the No. 4 seed in the East, will face the winner of the Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers series in the Eastern Conference finals in their quest to return to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year.

Raptors become 1st top seed in 49 years to get swept before conference finals
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox